Google has announced a move away from Oracle’s proprietary Java APIs. Beginning with the next version of their mobile operating system (Android N), the new standard will be OpenJDK, an open source alternative.
Suspicions of this move have been emerging for a while, as bits of code have shown up here and there. Today Google confirms all the speculations with the following statement, which was sent to the guys over at Venture Beat.
“As an open-source platform, Android is built upon the collaboration of the open-source community. In our upcoming release of Android, we plan to move Android’s Java language libraries to an OpenJDK-based approach, creating a common code base for developers to build apps and services. Google has long worked with and contributed to the OpenJDK community, and we look forward to making even more contributions to the OpenJDK project in the future.” – Google spokesperson
What is the difference? From a user standpoint, there will likely be little to no noticeable changes. It is developers who will likely have to adapt to the new standard in a more significant manner. So why the switch?
There is really no major reason we can think of… other than the legal issues Google has been having with Oracle. Google lost the case last year, causing quite the havoc and putting Google in a tight spot (which is very hard to get out of). Neither parties have commented on this, though, and we doubt they will.
Regardless, it is likely a good strategic move for the future of the company. We will have to wait until more details on Android N show up. Until then, let’s just stay put and keep it tuned to the Android Authority homepage.